Process for Assigning a Surrogate Parent to an Identified Student

    TheHalifax Area School District subscribes to IDEA as it relates to theIndividuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) permittingparents to make decisions related to the provision of special educationservices.
    IDEAdefines parents to include not only birth or adoptive parents, but in somecases, foster parents, a person with whom the child is living and who is actingas the child’s parent, and others, including surrogate parents. A surrogateparent or other educational decision maker can be appointed by a court or otherpublic agency and, once appointed, is authorized to make special educationaldecisions for a child who is eligible or who is thought to be eligible forspecial education services. 34 CFR 300.33 defines public agency as “the SEA,LEAs, ESAs, nonprofit public charter schools that are not otherwise included asLEAs or ESAs and are not a school of an LEA or ESA, and any other politicalsubdivisions of the State that are responsible for providing education tochildren with disabilities.” See 34 CFR 300.33.  

    Ifa student enrolls into the Halifax Area School District, andno parent can be identified, a public agency cannot, after reasonable efforts,locate a parent, the child is a ward of the State (i.e., the child is in thecustody of Children and Youth and does not have a foster parent who can makeeducational decisions), or the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth, thischild would be considered in need of a surrogate parent.  A surro­gate parent must be appointed to anyIDEA-eligible or thought-to-be eligible child within 30 calendar days.


    Upon determination of a student in need of a surrogate parentthrough our registration process, the following will occur:


    ·        Building level principal / Guidance counselor will contactthe special education department of a student in need of Surrogate Parentservices


    ·        The Special Education Office will contact the local CapitalArea Intermediate Unit to obtain a list of Surrogate parents

    ·        The Capital Area Intermediate Unit in conjunction with theHalifax Area School District will determine a person that will serve as thesurrogate parent in any educational / IDEA pertinent decisions.  The LEA will ensure that surrogate parents areafforded the same educational rights as other parents of students withdisabilities in the LEA. 
    Inaddition the LEA will try to:
    • Match the student’s needs to the strengths of the potential surrogateparent;
    • Introduce the student and the potential surrogate parent;
    • Obtain a written agreement from thesurrogate parent to serve the specific student in his or   her   IEPprocess and to maintain the student’s and the family’s rights to confidentiality;and
    • Inform allinvolved persons and agencies responsible for the residential care andeducation of the student of the surrogate parent’sappointment.

    If in reviewing this document, you knowof a student who meets the criteria of needing a Surrogate Parent, pleasecontact the students local school building at (717) 896-3416.


Last Modified on April 28, 2014